On Friday we enjoyed a Japanese-style lunch offered by Prof. Shimizu, Keido Chisan Koho Zenji’s grand-niece. She recently retired from a university career as a physicist researching and teaching quantum optics. We all really enjoyed her company and appreciated her generosity.
Over lunch she shared some of her presonal childhood memories of her great-uncle with us, and how he encouraged her in her studies. She mentioned that he had instilled into her the importance of education for woman and this in turn influenced her in her professional life as a teacher.
The last two days have been very busy and today we need to be at the station before nine to make it to the temple we will be staying at tonight before evening. We are travelling to west Japan today and will return on the 26th April. Opportunities to post during the next week are likely to be limited to a visit to an internet cafe in Kyoto or Nagoya. However here’s a little information about recent activities.
On Thursday Iain had to collect his passport from the Chinese Embassy so we took the opportunity to visit Akihabara, the “Electric Town” area of Tokyo where there are hundreds of stores selling all the latest electronic gear. I was a bit like a kid in a candy store however the noise level was such that my purchase of a camera was done at double quick time.
Here is the Vice Abbot of Chouju-in, a Soto Zen Temple in the countryside near Narita.
Thanks to Eiko for making the visit to this temple possible. We enjoyed our short stay and will probably go back during Golden Week towards the end of the month if possible. Everything in this small temple was familiar, the priest was friendly and spoke English well.
In the Ihaido (a section of the temple where memorial tablets are enshrined) we saw 88 bags of sand, with the temple seal on each bag, which had been collected from the temples on the classic pilgrimage around the island of Shikoku. Thus the merit of the pilgrimage was offered for the benefit of all those enshrined in the Ihaido, and all beings.
Here’s Eiko (on the right) who owns the Fura Restaurant where we ate lunch. She is a friend of Edera and made us feel very welcome. All of the dishes were served on hand made pottery and the meal was presented with great care and attention to detail. Thanks Eiko for a wonderful meal.
This afternoon when we were out in the car we gave way to a school girl who wanted to cross in front of us. First she bowed to acknowledge the offer then walked briskly across the road and then turned and bowed again in the direction of the car. This, apparently, is relatively normal behaviour for young school children.
Earlier Edera, Iain’s wife, saw this Haiku on the side of the road:
If you hold the wheel With the Buddha Mind No accident will happen.